ON MAY 16, 70 years ago to the day, a brave squadron of RAF pilots took off on what was to become one of the most famous missions of the Second World War.

The Dambusters squadron as they became known, flew in specially-modified Lancaster bombers on a mission to destroy three German dams and cripple the heavily industrialised Ruhr Valley.

And on Sunday, the only remaining flying Lancaster bomber in the UK will take to the skies over Oxfordshire at this year’s Abingdon Air and Country Show.

Also taking to the air will be the Breitling Wing Walkers, an Army Lynx helicopter, which will loop-the-loop, and a Twister aircraft flown by Will Hilton, 19, one of Britain’s youngest display pilots, who in previous years helped out at the show as a car park attendant.

Spokesman Colin Smith said: “Having a Lancaster here is very exciting. We have local links to the Dambusters, so it will be a big crowd pleaser.”

Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC, who led the Dambusters, finished his education at St Edward’s School, in Woodstock Road, Oxford, and later briefly passed through RAF Abingdon for part of his training.

The Lancaster taking part in the air show was serviced at RAF Abingdon in 1984.

Abingdon war veteran Stan Bradford, 89, flew Lancaster bombers in the war, and was also there when the memorial plane came to Abingdon.

He said: “That aircraft was completely overhauled in Abingdon by RAF voluntary labour, and I was invited as a guest.

“I flew in those planes for many years and I do have a soft spot for them.”

About 9,000 people are expected to flock to Abingdon Airfield, next to Dalton Barracks, between Abingdon and Dry Sandford, for the air spectacular on Sunday.

Tickets will be available at the gates, and cost £15, or £10 for OAPs, 5-15yr olds £5, and under fives get in free.

Discount tickets are also available in advance from the website abingdonairandcountry.co.uk